Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Lesbians take the Academy by Storm

What an amazing night in Hollywood Sunday night. Unfortunately it's only now that I've had a chance to blog about it. When I saw Ellen Degeneres up on that stage I thought to myself, Wow, she's come a long way. Do you remember when she was practically run out of Hollywood for coming out on the Ellen show back in 1998.

The "Ellen Show" was successful enough in its early seasons to warrant annual renewal, due largely to DeGeneres' perceived appeal and comic ability, but it was never a huge critical or ratings success. Only with Ellen's coming out did the show make its way into the wide public conciousness and hit a critical plateau. However after the initial coming out frenzy the show's ratings declined somewhat and ABC began feeling the pain of an organized backlash from religious conservative groups regarding the "gay content" being exhibited. While the final episodes of "Ellen" continued breaking new ground and winning awards, they were also widely criticized for focusing primarily on gay issues -- a criticism begun in anti-gay circles but which spread very quickly to the mainstream media. The brass at ABC found the justification they needed to finally pull the show from the air in May of 1998 after five seasons.

Where are we now? Not only has Ellen just hosted a very successful and more importantly, funny Oscar show but she has a successful talk show. Not to mention she's probably wealthy beyond belief. You go girl! Way to keep plugging and overcome adversity. The power of positive thinking? Or a sign of the times? Right place......etc

And what about Melissa Etheridge taking home the Oscar for Best Song? Kissing her girlfriend on National TV in front of 100's of millions worldwide and then telling Oprah's buddy backstage that "Oscar will be the only man to see my bedroom". Hehe. We certainly have come a long way!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Acupuncture Treatment #1

I'm having a lot of pain in my right shoulder and while I am starting physical therapy, I thought I would also supplement it with Acupuncture. Since my health insurance only covers $1000 of physical therapy, which is only about 8 visits, PT isn't going to solve the problem. So, I'm trying to find an alternative. Here's some pix with all my needles.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Lions for Lambs - another post....

Me and one of my techs (Drew) sitting behind Senator Tom Cruise's desk. Those pictures behind us are of the U.S. Senator (Cruise) and famous people, like Bush, the Dali Lama, etc. All professionally photoshopped of course. 3 of our Mitel IP Phones are sitting on and behind his desk.

Monday, February 19, 2007

LPGA at Turtle Bay, Hawaii

This past weekends LPGA SBS Turtle Bay tournament was fun to watch even if Paula Creamer won. Paula, rookie of the year in 2005, and completely winless in 2006, finally pulled off a win after an 18 month drought. Some feel she's talented, some think she's a bitch, and some a spoiled teenager; she's probably all of those things. I think players to watch this year instead of Paula Creamer would more likely be Julieta Granada , a young little fireball out of Paraguay that won the $1,000,000 ADT tournament to close out the 2007 season (and finished 2nd on the money list). Her mother caddies for her which I find rather endearing. She's also a phenomenal player with excellent putting. I think her putting is far more successful than Annika Sorenstam's or Ochoa's and would be on pair with the men. The PGA tour seems to demand and have a much lower putt ratio.

Speaking of Annika Sorenstam, where was she in the opening tournament of the LPGA? Especially considering the recent USA Today article about her disappointment in 2006 (even though she made $2,000.000) and her re-committment to winning Player of the Year in 2007.

In case you were wondering, Michelle Wie missed the SBS Open at Turtle Bay due to her falling and hurting her wrist. She was scheduled to appear in the event. All the news that is Wie can be found here. I haven't seen her compete in a LPGA event in a while. She's too busy trying to make a PGA cut than to actually get a win on the LPGA. I realize that it's great TV spotlighting for her, great for the sponsors, but if you never make the cut, what does it matter? Who is her agent/publicist/handler? She bugs me.

Friday, February 16, 2007

The Big Day

Today is an auspicious day in the life of Dawn. It's Dena and I's 16th anniversary. Since we're not really "married" it's not really our wedding anniversary, but it's a date we decided on many years ago. It's actually kind of wierd typing that, "many years ago". I feel grown up. I don't remember now why we picked the 16th, but it's been our date for so long that it doesn't really matter now. I wonder what would happen if we had a wedding? Would we move the date? Sorry, I digress....

When I think back on the 16 years with Dena, I remember only good times, many adventures, much laughter and fun. Sure there have been hard times, but nothing that could cloud the incredible journey that we've been on.

I can't tell you how fortunate I feel knowing that I will have her by my side for the rest of my life. She never walks in front of me, never behind me, always beside me. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Ah it's that time of year.....

The time of year when the rains think about subsiding in Southern California, the time of year when there is a little more sunshine, a little more daylight and new buds start on my trees. Yes, folks, that's right -- It's LPGA time!!!

I just watched Karrie Webb finish off her 6th win at the ANZ open in Australia ( a European Women's Golf Event). I love sitting, having my lunch and watching women's golf during the week. I'll DVR tournaments all weekend long so that I can watch them piecemeal over lunch throughout the week. It sort of calms me......God knows I need that in my life. Interesting item to note is that the ANZ tournament in Australia, first prize was only $120,000. No wonder these players want to play on the LPGA. More $$$

I'm also looking forward to this weekends SBS Turtle Bay LPGA kick off tournament on Oahu, Hawaii. Briana Vega winner of Donald Trump's Big Break VI has an exemption to play in this one and I'm interested to see how she does. I also love all the courses in Hawaii as the Pacific Ocean makes a breathtaking backdrop.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


I supposedly live in the richest country in the world and I have to be manage my health care options. How ridiculous. I only get $ 1,000 of Physical Therapy coverage a calendar year, so I have to worry and plan and think, that if I use it now, in February, will I be screwing myself later in the year if I need it? What if the $1000 doesn't cover it? What if I'm not better after ~ 10 PT visits? After all, with the rates they charge a grand will only get me about 10 visits. What will I do then?

We've been missing one of our cordless phones for about a week now. We just couldn't find it. Dena said it had to be my fault because I move them around so much. Well, they are cordless! Isn't that a given. I found it yesterday. It was outside on the patio wall. I guess I left it there while I was washing the windows a couple weekends ago. It's since rained. The phone is, well, you might say, dead......

When I looked in the mirror today I received a startling reflection - me, with small wrinkle lines on my neck. When the hell did those pop up? I just kept thinking to myself -- "is this because I don't drink enough water?" God knows it can't be because I'm getting old. hmmm, perhaps I am getting old, after all I did leave the phone outside for a week.

Friday, February 09, 2007

More on set visit

Susie from Propstar had a camera and I have pictures of my tech (Drew) and I in the senator's office, in front of the United States seal and other such memorable pix. During our positioning of the phones, lights and cords there was some guy sitting in the senator's chair. I thought to myself, he looks a lot like Tom Cruise. Well, he's Cruise's stand in. While they are setting up camera shots, lighting, rehearsing moving camera shots, etc. they use stand ins to do the scene. The stand in for Meryl Streep and Cruise were very similar in body type, basically they are supposed to be doubles, so same hair/eye color, same skin tone, same height, same body type, wear the same clothes, etc. This is for lighting, camera angle, prop placement, etc. Because we sure wouldn't want Meryl Streep standing around while they got the lights right, eh. She was lounging about in her Star trailer while all this was going on.

By the way, I forgot to tell you that I saw all 3 of the stars, Meryl Streep, Robert Redford and Tom Cruise. I only saw Cruise for a couple seconds. He's quite a short little fellow. Meryl Streep is beautful and she laughed a ton on the set during rehearsals. Robert Redford sat about 3 feet from me while he was discussing scene changes with the script guy. Him and Cruise apparently co-direct and co-star in the movie. While we were on set Cruise was acting, so we didn't really see him behind the camera. BTW, directors aren't really behind the camera, the camera guy is. The director just reviews the clip, makes corrections as he sees fit, etc. The one long (if you could call 30 seconds long) scene that I was there for too 3 hours of rehersals and about 14 takes. Some of the takes were ad libs by Meryl Streep (it was her scene), some were exactly on script and some were just flubs. Not flubs on Meryl's part of course, she was always perfect, except of course when she dropped her lipstick across the floor. hehe

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Hobnobbing with soon to be screen legends....

Today was spent babysitting the set of Lions for Lambs. As you read in a previous post Mitel's phones are used as props in the movie. They are to be fully functioning props so there was concern that Tom Cruise would pick the phone up and either it wouldn't work, or more likely, he wouldn't know how to use it.

This morning started at 6:30 on the set. We set up some "receptionist" style phones which was a big deal with flashing and solid lights to make it look busy. I'm sure these lights will never be seen as the shot was filmed from the other direction this afternoon. Oh well. Then we hung around and waited, and waited and waited. I wondered why people had magazines, papers and laptops at their little stations. It was to entertain themselves throughoutthe day. We were told of the rules:

  1. Do not look Tom Cruise in the eye. (hehe get real)
  2. When they say quiet on the set, it's a dead stop, no coughing, no whispering, no moving, stand still.
  3. Never enter the sound stage (or exit) when the red light is flashing.
  4. No personal cameras. That was ok because I forgot the memory card for mine. DUH!

Around 10:30 we heard a call "The senator's coming!" That meant that Tom Cruise (Senator Irving from Illinois) was coming into the sound stage. People scurried around and got real quiet. They spent about an hour filming about 1 second of footage of Tom Cruise holding some critical piece of paper at the Senator's desk. How time consuming.

More tomorrow....

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

A Quote for your day -

Be motivated - it's Tuesday, there are still 3 more days left in your week to get something big accomplished!

"Complacency is the single biggest roadblock to continuous improvement."

Friday, February 02, 2007

Busy Week

It's been a busy week - I was in an ITIL certification course - I won't bore you with the details but suffice it to say it's a management level course and has no technical knowledge in it. Very different and quite interesting, however, quite dry as well. So, that's my excuse why I haven't been blogging.....

But, this blog isn't about that course, it's about some of the things that happened in the course. Personal space - I've always needed a little more of a personal space buffer than your average person. I'm not sure how those people in Japan exist. I would be freaking all the time. I'm not even sure I could travel there. So there was this jewish fellow in the class. I'm not sure why his religion matters, perhaps as a stereotype to his behavior, you be the judge..... So in the class there are 6' tables with 2 people per table. A little cramped, one must respect the other's space. The guys name was Kudmar or something, anyway, he was always inching over into my space. I hate that shit. I hate it in scrapbooking, I hate it in the movie theater and I sure as hell hate it when I'm in a training class that costs $1,500. So we come back from lunch the first day, and surprise, surprise, I have to go to the bathroom, I come in a little late and his laptop power cord is hanging over my side, his empty tea bag is like 8" on my side, yes, I mentally measured. His knee keeps whacking my leg, too. So I'm not crazy. I know what you're thinking...

So, his blatant infringement into my personal space is almost consuming my thought processes and I'm having trouble concentrating on the lecturer. Later in the afternoon we're having a lively discussion in the class and I've forgotten about his transgressions for the moment, then all of a sudden I feel my chair pull back a little and feel a presence. In a split second I glance back and see his hand and arm on my chair. I have an instant reaction, and say to him, "Please do not do that." He looks at his hand and then at me in disbelief. I repeat, "please remove your hand from my chair." He apologizes and we had no more infringement's for the next 3 days. Problem solved :-)